♪ Sometimes I feel so happy ♪
♪ Sometimes I feel so sad ♪
♪ Sometimes I feel so happy ♪
♪ But mostly you just make me mad ♪
♪ Baby, you just make me mad ♪
♪ Linger on ♪ ♪ Your pale blue eyes ♪
♪ Linger on ♪

Aziz Ansari’s Right Now! Aziz Ansari!

♪ Thought of you as my mountaintop ♪
♪ Thought of you as my peak ♪

Thought of you as everything I’ve had but couldn’t keep I’ve had but couldn’t keep

Thank you. Thank you very much! Thank you. Thanks. I appreciate that. Thank you so much. Take a seat. Take a seat. Thanks so much. Wow. What a nice welcome. Wow, wow, wow. Very excit… By the way, this guy’s with me. He’s, uh… he’s authorized. He’s not, like, a very audacious bootlegger who really doesn’t give a fuck. “You said no phones, but what about full-on cameras?” Uh… Yeah, we’re filming these shows, so, you know, you might be in the show, uh, when it’s on, whatever I put it on. You’ll be like, “Oh, shit. I was there!” But we’re filming a few shows, so if you’re, like, the shitty crowd, we won’t use any of the footage.

Um… I’m psyched to be here. I-I’ve been on the road for a while. Um, I just got back to New York, uh, my home, uh, a few days ago, and, uh, yeah. I, uh… I was walking around the other day, and this guy, uh, came up to me on the street, and he was like, uh, “Hey, man. Love the Netflix show!” And I was like, “Oh, thanks so much.” He was like, “Yeah, yeah, I really liked the episode you did on Supreme!” I was like, “What? I didn’t do no episode on Supreme.” And then I quickly realized he’s talking about Hasan Minhaj. Patriot Act. Different show. Different guy. And he felt horrible, right? He immediately realized his mistake, and he was trying to buy it back. He was like, “Oh, no, no, Aziz, right?” I was like, “Yeah, yeah. That’s me.” “Master of None!” “Yeah, yeah. That’s me.” “Parks and Rec.” “Yeah, yeah. That’s me.” “Treat yo’ self.” “Yeah, yeah. That’s me.” “And, uh, you had that whole thing last year, sexual misconduct?” “No, no, no, no, no! That was Hasan.”

You know, I… I haven’t said much about that whole thing, um, but I’ve talked about it on this tour, ’cause you’re here, and it means a lot to me. And I’m sure some of you are curious how I feel about that whole situation. And, uh, it’s a tricky thing for me to answer, ’cause I’ve felt so many things in the last year, so… There’s times I felt scared. There’s times I felt humiliated. There’s times I felt embarrassed. And ultimately, I just felt terrible that this person felt this way. And after a year or so, I just hope it was a step forward. It moved things forward for me and made me think about a lot. I hope I’ve become a better person. And I always think about a conversation I had with one of my friends where he was like, “You know what, man? That whole thing made me think about every date I’ve ever been on.” And I thought, “Wow. Well, that’s pretty incredible. It’s made not just me, but other people be more thoughtful, and that’s a good thing.” And that’s how I feel about it. And I know… this isn’t the most hilarious way to begin a comedy show. But it’s important to me that you know how I feel about that whole thing before we share this night together.

Well, that was pretty intense. What else shall we talk about? America? Everyone’s very worried right now. A lot of people are bummed. People are like, “Oh, my God. Shit has hit the fan.” I’m not worried, though. You know why? ‘Cause… this is America, okay? Shit didn’t hit the fan, shit’s always been on the fan, okay? There’s never been a clean fan out there. There’s always been shit up there. Every generation of Americans has had their shit. And they’ve persevered, and we will as well, okay? And some of those generations have had even crazier shit than we do, right? Things like the Depression, Vietnam, the draft… Could you imagine if we had a draft? With today’s people? “Uh, I can’t go to war. I just started this company. We make eco-friendly shoes out of cashews. They’re called “Cashoes”. Just a few generations before, they’d give that guy a rifle, they’re like, “Go shoot some Asian people!” Now he’s at work like, “Uh, it’s not pronounced ‘pho’, Valerie, it’s ‘faa.'” His grandfather…

But I promise you, we’re gonna be okay, ’cause despite how it may seem, we still have a capacity for listening, for understanding. I’ll give you an example, okay? There was a story I read. This girl goes to her high school prom. White girl. She wears an Asian garment. And there’s an Asian kid at the school and he’s offended. He actually did something really cool. He actually went up to her and they had a conversation. He explained his concerns about cultural appropriation. She assured him she was coming from a place of respect and admiration. And they both learned about each other’s perspectives. And it was a really… Just kidding. None of that shit happened. Oh! Why would that happen? No, he just Tweeted out her pictures and wrote, “My culture’s not your goddamn prom dress!” And this became global news! And there was articles, and comments, and tweets. And I read all of ’em. And my favorite thing is you go on these threads, and you’d see people arguing, trying to, like, out-woke each other. You know what I mean? Like, one person’d be like, “Oh, I can’t believe she’d just steal from Chinese culture like that.” Another guy’d be like, “Actually, the Chinese stole that from Malaysia.” And I was like, “Oh, shit! You just got out-woked! You thought your eyes were open. This other dude doesn’t even have a forehead. His eyeball just keeps going… just so he can see all the injustice.” Man, look, man. I saw the pictures. It didn’t seem like this person’s heart was in the wrong place. It’s not like she tweeted, “Hey, everybody, check out my ching-chong, bing-bong dress!” Well, that would be bad. Do I not have all the facts? Did she step out of the limo like… “Konichiwa, bitches! Where’s the prom?”

All right, that’s problematic. Nowadays, man, sometimes even when the stuff is racist, I’m like, “Can we just talk about something else? I don’t think we’re gonna fix it at this brunch. I don’t think this is the crew that’s gonna crack the case.” Say what you will about racist people, but they’re usually very brief. Newly woke white people are exhausting! “Uh, what’s the statistic? Where’d you read the article?” Chin, chin, chin, chin, cha. “Aziz, have you seen this episode of The Simpsons? There’s an Indian character and dabu do dabee dabade dabado.”

♪ Think piece, stink piece I just read a think piece ♪
♪ Now I’m gonna say what I read to you ♪
♪ Here are the bullet points For this issue ♪
♪ Badoo-badoo, badoo-badoo badoo-badoo, ba-doo-doo ♪

Oh, can you just call me Apu and leave me alone? Yeah! I’m aware. I’m aware, Candice. I saw it 30 years ago. It’s a white guy doing an Indian voice. I appreciate the support, but things don’t just become racist when white people figure it out. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like those Simpsons people either. They’re running around, “Why did no one say anything 30 years ago? We’re winning awards and stuff, no one said anything.” ‘Cause Indian people could only say something, like, four years ago, okay? We’ve had a slow rise in the culture. You know who the first Indian person I saw on MTV was? Me! It’s taken a minute. All right, truth be told, it was that bass player in No Doubt, but, you know… He was in the background playing bass! He didn’t have a platform to speak on these things! Plus, we all know the dynamic in that band. “Uh, Gwen, there’s a couple of issues in the Indian-American community and…” ♪ Don’t speak! ♪ “Okay, shit, I’m sorry.”

Interesting times for, uh, white people. Uh… I’ve been observing you. I see what’s going on. You’re trying really hard to be nice to minorities… in a way I’ve never seen before. Putting in the time, putting in the effort. Getting out there. Watching Crazy Rich Asians. White people went in droves. Very cool. Any white people here see Crazy Rich Asians? Raise your hands, everybody. Yeah? Yeah. You, man, in the front. You saw it? Yeah? It had, like, a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. You think it was that good, 97%? Eh, maybe a little less? What… what number would you give it? Eighty-five. Eighty-five? Wow! Twelve percent less. Anything in particular you didn’t like that made you dock it 12 points, man? Are you nervous right now? I’m just messing with you. It doesn’t matter what you think about the movie. It’s just fun to make white people feel bad. And… This is so adorable. Look how far we’ve come… …in just two generations, right? Like, your grandma doesn’t even call that movie “Crazy Rich Asians.” She calls it “that movie that has too many Orientals.” And now you’re sitting here like, “Uh, 85? Shit. I take it back, 97. What do I need to say to not get in trouble? Uh…” It’s coming from a good place, but some people are acting weird, man. I asked this one lady, I was like, “You see Crazy Rich Asians?” She was like, “Yeah!” I was like, “You like it?” She was like, “Uh, I actually didn’t see it, I’m sorry!” I’m like… “What are you lying for?! What did you think, I was gonna give you some cookies?” My favorite thing, though, one time I asked someone, I was like, uh, “You like Crazy Rich Asians?” They’re like, “You know what, Aziz? I’m gonna be honest with you. The first time I saw it, I didn’t really enjoy it. But then I watched it again with one of my Asian friends, and I saw how much it meant to her to see herself represented on the screen, and that made me really like the film.” And I said, “Oh, um, that doesn’t mean you like the movie, that’s just a weird, condescending, shitty thing to say.” Could you imagine if I watched Paul Blart: Mall Cop… …and I was like, “I didn’t really like it, but then I watched it again with one of my chubby white friends… Really changed my perspective.”

Oh. But, look, I’ll give credit where credit’s due. I’ve been around 36 years. I’ve never seen white people trying this hard be nice to minorities. I know there’s some people that are not trying at all, and some people going a bit aggressively the other direction… But overall, I’d say this edition of white people is trying the hardest. And I think it’s cool, and I appreciate it. But… sometimes I’m a little suspicious. Uh, minorities, you know what I’m talking about? Doesn’t it seem a little weird sometimes? Doesn’t it seem a little strange? Almost like some people are playing a game where they’re, like, tallying up points for doing nice stuff. Like, is there some sort of secret, progressive Candy Crush we don’t know about? Like, don’t you imagine some white people getting together in secret, like, “All right, let’s tally up our scores. What did everyone do for equality today?” Let’s hear it. Brian, tell us about your day.” “Well, I told one of my African-American friends I thought Black Panther should have won Best Picture. Then I tweeted out some support for this new documentary by a lesbian filmmaker. Then I Instagrammed a little love for Colin Kaepernick. Then I crossed the street when I saw a black guy. Shit! I need more points. I need more points. What can I do? Wrote a lengthy Instagram post calling myself out for white privilege based on something I did in 2015.” Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! “Tell him what he’s won, guys!” “Oh, Brian’s won a bunch of Instagram likes from other white people playing the same game!” And look, I know there’s some people sitting here like, “Come on, Aziz. What the hell? I’m white. I don’t do this shit, okay? I’m here, watching you, supporting minorities in the arts!”

It’s a weird time to be working on jokes. Gotta be very careful about what you say, right? I’ve seen people in regular jobs getting in trouble these days, you know? I recently saw some people got in trouble for, uh, saying the word “niggardly.” Which, take it easy, has nothing to do with race. It just means cheap or stingy. You can look up the etymology, it’s a completely innocent word. And people are getting in trouble for it. Which is crazy. But… it seems like they could’ve just said cheap or stingy, right? I don’t know why they had to walk the plank on this one. “Mmm… I know what it sounds like. But I want to use my big word! What do you mean you’re getting a regular ticket? Let’s get a Fast Pass. Quit being so niggardly!” One of the guys that got in trouble, he’s a senator from Ohio, right? His name’s Sherrod Brown. They had a meeting about military spending. And he goes to the legislators, “You all, when it comes to spending on the weapons and the wars, you all want to spend very lavishly, but when the veterans come home, you start acting very niggardly.” They’re like, “Uh, what’d you say?” “I said, ‘You just start acting very niggardly.'” “Uh, just the last word again, Sherrod?” “I said, ‘Niggardly.'” “Get him out of here!” And he got in all this trouble. And then, they looked it up in the dictionary, and he was fine. But when I first read the article, I was really confused, ’cause I read his name as Sherrod Brown, and I was like, “Uh, seems like Sherrod Brown should be okay here, right? Am I missing something here, Sherrod Brown? Do I not have all the facts? Uh… Oh, he’s a white guy? Get him out of here!”

No. It’s a completely innocent word. Nothing wrong with it. So, you know, white dude in the front, if you want to put it in rotation every now and then, go for it. Nothing wrong with it. I just explained to you, there’s nothing wrong with the word, right? Right? You got it. So, why don’t you just yell it into the microphone right now? Okay, here we go, let’s do it. Here we go. Let’s go. Here we go. Let’s go, let’s go. Here we go. He was about to do it! Can you believe it, guys? Come on, sir! That’s not cool. That was a test and you failed! You can’t just throw it around willy-nilly. Maybe if it comes up in your life organically, then you can consider throwing it in. I don’t know what the scenario is, maybe, uh… Maybe go out to dinner with your African-American boss, right? And… he grabs the bill, and then you look at the tip. You’re like, “Mm, I don’t know, sir, seems a bit niggardly.” Like, that… seems okay. Gotta be careful about what you say. And about what you said, right? ‘Cause they’ll dig up the old tweets. They’ll find the old clips.

You know what’s strange about that whole thing, though? Is like… you ever just watch very popular mainstream stuff from not that long ago? Uh, there’s stuff in there, guys! I was watching The Hangover the other day. This is one of the biggest movies ever, right? It’s not that old. There’s a scene in that movie where Bradley Cooper goes, “Paging Dr. Faggot!” That’s in the movie! Did you guys write a letter? I didn’t write a letter. Not only is it in the movie, it’s in the trailer for the movie! You know why it was in the trailer? ‘Cause they did test readings, and whenever Bradley Cooper went, “Paging Dr. Faggot,” everyone went, “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! This movie rules! I love that word!” You can watch stuff that’s not that old with 2019 eyes and things can seem weird now. Like… like, I was watching a… a rerun of The Office. What’s the biggest story? “Jim and Pam. Oh, I hope they get together!” You watch it now, though, it’s like, “Mmh, I don’t know. This lady’s engaged. He’s been hitting on her for, like, four seasons. I don’t know if this is cool in the workplace. If they rebooted The Office now, it’d end with Pam winning a landmark sexual harassment case. And then, in the series finale, you’d find out that’s what the documentary was, they were just gathering evidence against Jim!

I was even watching my own show. I was watching a Parks and Rec rerun. I love Parks, love my Parks family. But I was watching some season’s rerun, and I was like, “Eee, I don’t know. Like, we had a whole scene in the show where my character Tom gets a gift for Rashida Jones’s character. Right? I get her a teddy bear. But the teddy bear has a nanny cam in it. Nuh… I feel like if I got script today, I’d be like, “Mmh, yeah, I’m not doing this one, guys. Pretty sure Tom would go to jail for that.” But back then, I was like, “Oh, I get it. Now I can see inside her house. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.” But that’s very interesting. What does that mean? Does that mean me and the people that made Parks are bad people? No. It was a different cultural context.

You can’t judge everything by 2019 standards. Sure, some things, of course, but not everything. Yeah? I guess what I’m saying is, “Look, we’re all shitty people, okay? And we have our blind spots. And we become aware, and we slowly get better. We’re all on a journey. And if you’re sitting there, like, “I’m not shitty. I’m aware of all the marginalized groups.” You’re extra shitty, okay? ‘Cause you’re arrogant. Have some humility. Don’t you realize in 50 years we’re all gonna look back and feel like complete assholes? Like, isn’t that the dream, in a way? That 50 years from now, we look back, we can’t even justify ourselves to our grandkids. We’re just sitting there like, “Uh, yeah. I don’t know what the fuck was going on. Um… There was just homeless people everywhere and no-one gave a shit. Uh… You’d just kind of avoid eye contact, walk around ’em, hope it wasn’t one of the ones that’d chase you down. Every now and then they’d have cups out and you’d open up your wallet and be like, “Uh, sorry, all I got’s twenties.” And then you’d hop on one of those weird scooters and get the fuck out of there! It was a weird time, 2019. We put every single black guy in jail. Every single black guy was in jail, except for, like, Drake, LeVar Burton, and that little kid from Stranger Things. Besides them, we put every single black guy in jail for, like, a little bit of weed. And then we made weed legal and we just left ’em in there. I don’t know, it seems like we could have made a couple of calls.

Cultural context, right, could change everything. Look at all this R. Kelly stuff. All this information was out there in the past, right? There was the Aaliyah thing, there were the tapes, and everyone just kind of looked the other way, right? But now, the culture has reached a breaking point. Now that there’s a bingeable six hour documentary, the culture’s like, “Hey, it’s one thing for all this information to be out there in a 20-page long read, but now that it’s been packaged in an entertaining fashion, no more!” I watched it. Intense. Just out of curiosity, you guys, clap if you’re done with R. Kelly. Clap if you’re done with R. Kelly. Yeah. Wow. A lot of people. Yeah. I mean, it was a very compelling piece. A lot of people putting out statements and stuff now. People that used to work with him. People like Lady Gaga, Chance the Rapper. You know who I haven’t seen a statement from? This guy right here. Nothing from you, sir! – Sir, what’s your name up here? – Dan. – Dan, what’s your last name? – Greenblatt. Dan Greenblatt. I’ve seen nothing from Dan Greenblatt. But why would I, Dan? There’s no documentation of your R. Kelly patronage, right? You’re very lucky in that regard. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing? What if you were watching that documentary, right, and they’re like, “Oh, and then the tape comes out” At this point, you’ve got to know something’s not right. But people didn’t care. Here’s footage of Dan Greenblatt just one week after the tape was released. ♪ It’s a remix to ignition I got them fresh out of the kitchen ♪ ♪ I got the rollin’… ♪ Here’s footage of Dan just two weeks later, driving to work. ♪ I’m sippin’ on Coke and rum ♪ ♪ I’m like, “So, what? I’m drunk” It’s the rar, rar, rar, rar” ♪ You’re lucky they don’t have that footage, Dan. You know you got down to those tunes. Wouldn’t that be so awful?

 

+..0What if they had footage of you from, like, 18 years ago? Maybe, uh, you know, talking about going to an R. Kelly concert. Talking about how you had a great time and how it was so silly. Wouldn’t that be awful? You know who they do have footage of like that? Me! Yeah, it’s the end of my first stand-up special. I put it out myself. I had this whole bit at the end of my first stand-up special. I’m like, “I went to an R. Kelly concert. It was crazy!” I don’t do that shit now, but it’s still out there. And I’m watching this documentary, I’m terrified! I’m like, “Man, they’d better not pull up them clips! I’ve had a tricky year as it is.” ‘Cause… I listened to it the other day, guys, and the bit has not aged well. Like, all the wording I used is the worst possible wording. And I’m imagining Wendy Williams or whoever going to one of these clubs where I’m on stage like, “You know, guys, my favorite musician I’ve ever met is R. Kelly!” “His favorite musician he’s ever met… is R. Kelly. And it doesn’t end there. Let’s look at a clip from Aziz’s second stand-up special, which came out just two years later.” “You know, guys, in my last special, I talked about R. Kelly. And I figured I don’t need to do that this time, but here’s the problem, R. Kelly keeps doing amazing things! Amazing things! Amazing things! Amazing things! Amazing things!”

You know what’s weird is I was watching that special, and there was a lot of jokes on there I’d forgotten. It was, like, ten years old, you know? There was bits, I was like, “Ooh, I don’t know if I’d say that today.” I felt bad. Then I was like, “Eh, that’s fine.” That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right? If you’re the same person you were ten years ago, you’re shitty! Like, you’re supposed to change. But there was jokes on there, like, I wouldn’t do that now, you know? Like, I had this old bit where I used to talk about my little cousin Harris, and, uh… Yeah, yeah, thank you, whatever. And, uh… I-I had this joke in there where I would talk about how he watched weird TV shows and how he’s a little chubby. I had one bit where I was like, “Know what? There’s not a lot of chubby Indian kids! It’s kind of a rarity. It’s kind of like seeing a shooting star, only it’s fat, brown, and on the ground.” It’s fine, whatever, but I feel like if I had thought of that joke today, I’d be like, “Uh, probably no reason to fat shame my little cousin on a global scale. Maybe I’ll tuck that one aside.” But back then, I was 25. I was like, “I’ve got to fill this hour, I don’t give a shit!” I just threw little Harris under the bus. Well, he is a little chubby, so, technically, I squeezed him in, right? He’s fine. He got internships and stuff ’cause of that bit. Yeah! People were like, “What? You’re that Harris?” And he’s not chubby no more. He’s like super buff. He goes to gym all the time. Probably ’cause he was scarred for life. “I’m not a shooting star! I’m not a shooting star!”

I watched that, uh… I watched that Michael Jackson documentary. Ooh, I don’t know if you had a chance to see this one, but let’s just say hypothetically you did and you’re equally as convinced as you are about R. Kelly. Clap if you’re done with Michael Jackson. Clap if you’re done. What happened to all them R. Kelly claps? That was way less people. You guys are all collectively like, “Uh, I don’t know what to tell you, Aziz. The music’s way better. Sorry, I… I’ll take the hit on Kells, but Michael is a bridge I’m not willing to cross. I got a wedding next month, let’s be serious!” Dan, nothing from you? Dan’s like, “I heard it’s, like, two kids. I don’t give a shit. Sorry, Aziz, I’m going home, I’m listening to “Thriller,” I’m watching The Cosby Show and going to bed. Deal with it!” All right. But, Dan. Okay. Let’s say… let’s say another doc comes out. Now it’s worse. Now they’re saying it’s, like, a thousand kids. Now are you done with Michael Jackson? Yeah. See? Dan is a man of principle, okay? He was like, “Two kids are one thing, but I got to draw the line somewhere, and Dan’s gonna draw the line at a thousand kids!”

Isn’t it weird we’re just watching this stuff as entertainment? Right? Isn’t that kind of strange? Your friends were like, “Oh, man. Have you seen that show where those two guys graphically describe being molested for four hours?” “No.” “You gotta watch it!” I don’t know what went down, but I will say that it did seem like something weird was happening and that Michael was kind of a sick guy. And I wish the people around him had done more to get him help. You know? Like… like, he would bring these kids on tour and stuff. I’ve been on tour. I know what it’s like. There are plenty of other people around. I got a tour manager, I got opening comedians, I got the venue staff. I feel like if I showed up on a Friday and I was like, “Hey, guys. This is Justin. He’s gonna be with me all week.” “Um… Aziz, Justin’s six.” “But he’s my friend.” “Um… Maybe you need some friends your own age.” “Uh, but I didn’t have a childhood. I’m Peter Pan.” “No, you might be a pedophile. Come on Justin. Let’s get you to your parents. Have a talk with your mom about her priorities.” Stand up for a second. I don’t know this kid. You could have played Justin. This is my friend Justin. He’s gonna be with me all week.

Why the fuck are you sitting in the front row of this show? What was that, dad and two sons? Well, uh… you know… If that ends up in a special, mom is not gonna be pleased. “Way to go, Dad!” What is your name? I’m Tyler. – Tyler. And the other kid’s name? – I’m Dylan. Dylan. Tyler and Dylan. Okay. How old are you, Tyler? – Ten. – Ten? Oh, shit! Perfectly cast! Jesus. What’s your name, Dad? – Uh, Ben. – Ben, okay. You made an awkward decision bringing these kids. You know, the other thing that’s tricky about the Michael thing is I don’t know what to think ’cause I have the internet, and the internet can confirm anything you want to believe, right? You know, I can go on there, I can type “Michael Jackson guilty.” And I’ll be like, “What? Michael is a monster. I can’t believe he’d do that.” But then, I can go on there, I can go on YouTube and type “Michael Jackson innocent,” and be like, “What? Those kids set him up!” I don’t know what to believe, ’cause a YouTube video can convince you of anything!

I watched a YouTube video once, I was like, “Whoa, am I in the Illuminati? Like… This is some compelling evidence they’ve put together.” I watched this video, it’s like, “Aziz Ansari: illuminati. Look at his name. How does he spell it? Two As. What do As have on the top of them? Triangles. Two triangles. What else does he have in his name? Two Is. A-Z-I-Z, A-N-S-A-R-I. Two Is, two triangles. What does he have in his head? Two eyes. Aziz Ansari: illuminati.”

If Michael did do this stuff, it’s created, you know, a weird cultural conundrum for us. You know. ‘Cause, you know, music’s very visceral. It becomes a part of your life. You know, my first memory of music itself, is when I was probably not that much younger than Tyler. And I remember… …listening to a Michael Jackson cassette, to Thriller. That was my first memory of music ever. What’s your first memory of music ever, Tyler? Like, the first song you remember putting on and listening to, you remember? – Probably “Thriller”, actually. – Probably “Thriller”? Which song? – What do you mean? – Which song from Thriller? Oh, “Thriller”, the song “Thriller”? Oh, okay. But how do you erase that stuff from your life, Tyler? It becomes a part of you, right?

You know what I always thought would be the craziest conundrum? What if in 1999, Osama bin Laden put out… an incredible jazz album? And people are like, “This is seminal work. This is Miles Coltrane bin Laden,” right? Then that day, you’re watching the news, and the anchor’s on there like, “Uh, it appears the perpetrator of the attacks was… jazz legend, Osama bin Laden? The saxophone player? Are we sure it’s the same guy? Oh, my God, we’re in complete shock here in the studio. Uh, right now we have the representative from his record label on the phone, this is Darren from Bop Boppity Bop Bop Records. Darren, what do you think about all this?” “I’m in… I’m in complete shock. I-I can’t believe it. I was with him a couple of weeks ago, he couldn’t have been a nicer guy.” “Really? A nice guy?” “Well, I mean, you know, he helped me move into my apartment. Uh… Used to always pick me up at the airport. Uh… Shit. I should probably tell the FBI about that. Uh… But I really can’t believe it.” “And what about the music, Darren?” “Well, you know, we just… recorded this Christmas album with Michael Bublé, and, uh… I got to be honest, it’s sick. But… we’re probably gonna have to shelve it.” “Probably will have to shelve it. I think this might be a question on a lot of jazz lovers’ minds today: Are we still going to be able to enjoy this music? Uh, let’s see what the viewers think. Let’s go to the phones. We have a gentleman calling from Brooklyn, New York. This is Dan Greenblatt. Dan, what do you think?” “Meh, it’s not like it was a thousand buildings.”

Um… Oh. I don’t know what’s gonna happen to Michael, but… I think R. Kelly’s in a little bit of a pickle. Uh… it seems like he’s getting charged. All of the companies have abandoned him. RCA, Sony, all these places. You know, nowadays, you know, you have a big corporation, even one employee does something, the whole company’s under fire, right? You know, we saw this with this whole Pizza Hut thing, right? Guy orders a pepperoni pizza. He gets the pizza, the pepperonis are arranged to look like a swastika. But now some people online are saying it doesn’t look like a swastika. They’re saying it looks like a regular pizza. So the internet is split. I saw it. It kinda looked like a regular pizza to me. I don’t know. What do you guys think? Clap if you think it was a swastika. Clap if you think it looks like a swastika. Okay. A couple in the back. Now clap if you think it just looks like a regular pizza. Yeah. So, you, sir, right here… You… you think it looks like a regular pizza? Yeah? And what, you think this guy’s just lying to get attention or something like that? Yeah? And do you remember where you saw it? ‘Cause, uh, it was in New York Times and Washington Post, but Washington Post supposedly accidentally posted a digitally-altered photo. Do you remember where you saw it?
Washington Post.
– You saw in Washington Post? Okay. Well, you know what’s interesting is, um… I just made all that up. None of that happened. I’m not trying to embarrass you, dude, but you and everyone that clapped earlier, you’re the fucking problem, okay? What are you doing? This is where we’re at now? You think your opinion’s so valuable you need to chime in on shit that doesn’t even exist? I mean, I do this every night. Every night, people clap. First, the first group claps. “Yeah, it’s a swastika. That’s what the country is. Trump probably put those pepperonis on there himself!” Then, the other crew claps. “No way. The country’s way too sensitive. PC police. Snowflakes!” And what these people don’t realize is despite believing completely different things, they’re actually the same person. ‘Cause they don’t really care about learning, and exploring, and discussing, they just want to chime in with their little programmed reactions. They already know what they think about everything. And the rest of you, the ones that didn’t clap, you’re not off the hook. I saw your faces. No one was sitting there like, “Oh, no. This poor guy. I hope that didn’t happen.” No, you were all sitting there with the same thought running through your head. “How did I miss this Pizza Hut thing? You see the…? You see it?

I watch so much news. I’m watching CNN all goddamn day! I’m on my phone the rest of the time, I’ve had my shit locked up in this stupid pouch for an hour, and I’m already behind!” By the way, you had to be a little skeptical of this thing, ’cause, you know, if this happened, it wouldn’t have been a Pizza Hut, it would’ve happened at Papa John’s. Funny! Cool. Some lady just yelled, “Funny!” Unnecessary, but appreciated. This is why it’s cool to come to live stuff. You never know what’s gonna happen, right? “Funny!” That’s never happened ever in 18 years of doing comedy.

So… Ooh! Let’s talk about Alzheimer‘s for a minute. My grandma has Alzheimer’s. I just saw her in India over the Christmas holiday. And, um, you know, I don’t know if you’ve got Alzheimer’s people in your life, but it’s a very sad disease. Uh, she has a caretaker now. This woman named Fatima. And, uh, Fatima kind of explained to me how you hang out with Alzheimer’s people, ’cause, you know, they have all these little tics and stuff you gotta account for. Like one thing my grandma would do is she would ask the same questions over and over, you know? Like, one thing she kept asking, she kept going, uh, “Is Aisha in there making samosas?” And Fatima would go, “Yep, she’s in there!” This was very strange to me ’cause Aisha’s her sister… that passed away. She’s definitely not in the kitchen making samosas. And I asked Fatima, like, “Why are you saying that? Why are you lying?” She goes, “Oh, sometimes it’s easier that way.” And I was like, “Oh. That seems kind of mean.” But I was there with my girlfriend, right, who’s a Caucasian woman. And every now and then, we’d be sitting around, and my grandma would just go, “Who’s this white lady?” I’d go, “It’s my girlfriend, Grandma.” “Does that mean it’s your wife?” “No, no, no. We’re just dating. Love each other very much, might get married in the future, but she’s very important to me, I wanted you to meet her.” “Oh, okay.” Blah, blah, blah. “Who’s this white lady?” “It’s my girlfriend, grandma.” “Is that your wife?” “No, no, We’re just dating, might get married. Love each other. She’s someone important. Wanted you to meet her.” “Okay.” Blah, blah. Who’s this white lady?” Um, “The British are back, Grandma. And… we’re gonna need to see your papers.”

The saddest thing that happened was when my grandma goes, uh… At one point, she kept asking me to stay with her a little bit longer. She was like, “Why don’t you stay here a couple of nights, spend some time with your grandma?” I was like, “Oh, I can’t, Grandma. I’ve got to head back and get ready for my tour.” She was like, “Oh, okay. Hey, why don’t you stay here for a couple of days, spend some time with your grandma?” I was like, “I can’t, Grandma. I gotta fly back tomorrow and get ready for my tour.” “Oh, okay.” She kept asking me. I kept saying my thing. And it was killing me because… I knew it wasn’t true. I mean… I had a flight the next day, but I could’ve rearranged some things and stayed a little longer. But I’m not that good a person. I’m one afternoon good, I’m not two nights good. And, uh, she asked me again, and I was about to go into my spiel, and then Fatima just taps me on the shoulder, and she just goes, “Just tell her you’re staying.” And I was like, “Oh, man… I’m a bad grandson, but… you’re like a demon or something. I’m not doing that! That’s mean!” “Yeah, Grandma, I’ll be here all week! And guess who else is here? Aisha, bring out those samosas!”

It’s hard seeing my grandma that way, though, ’cause I remember her when she was younger, you know? And that’s a scary thing when you get to the age I’m at. I’m 36 now, so, I’ve seen people get old. I see what old age can do to people. When you’re younger and you meet people that old, you only knew them in the deteriorated state, right? Like, if you ever met your great-grandma, the first time you met her, she was like, “Aah!” Uh, “Hi, Great-grandma Carol.” You didn’t know her when she was jumping rope or whatever. Like, you only knew her as this Star Wars villain-type person. But now, you see that change. It’s very scary. ‘Cause you realize that’s coming for us all, right? It’s coming for us. It’s coming for our parents. That’s when it gets scary, right? You start thinking about your folks. I’m very lucky, both of my parents are still alive and well, still have it all up here. And I completely take it for granted. I don’t call ’em enough. I don’t see ’em enough. You see your folks enough? How often you see them? What, two or three times a year? What have they got left? Maybe 20 years? That’s… 60 more times you get to see ’em. That’s it. Sixty more times. Sixty more hangs. Are you making the most of these hangs? Are you creating cherished memories?

You know what? Everyone just close your eyes for a second. Close your eyes for a second. Close your eyes. Come on, man. Let’s close ’em. You’re the only one. Just think back to that last weekend you saw your parents, right? Think about everything you did. Hone in on your most cherished memory. And when you’ve got your memory, just raise your hand. There’s, like, five hands right now. You know why? ‘Cause we all had the same shitty weekend, okay? I know what you did, ’cause I did the same thing. You show up late on a Friday like, “All right, well, I better unpack my stuff and get to bed.” “All right, we’ll see you in the morning.” Day one done. Then, you wake up early the next day at like… 11:30. go in the kitchen, making coffee. “Oh, you guys got a new coffee machine.” “Yeah, we like it.” Conversation done. The rest of the day, everyone’s on their phones, computers, doing whatever they can to avoid eye contact or any kind of deep conversation. At a certain point, collective guilt sets in. The entire family convenes in the living room. No one knows what the fuck to say. Then, at some point, for some reason, you and your entire family watch the film Speed together. And then, it’s dinner time. One of your parents is like, “Hey, let’s go to any restaurant you like. You pick.” And you’re like, “I don’t live in this shitty town. You pick!” And they’re like, “Let’s go to that restaurant we like and don’t realize is actually a chain!” You show up, you order jalapeno poppers and the fried onion thing. You eat all the stuff, come home, you take the biggest shit you’ve had in months. Wake up the next morning, pack your stuff up, wheeling it out. Just as you’re leaving, one of your parents finally looks you in the eyes. And they’re like, uh, “Is your life okay?” And it never is. But you’re just like, “Yeah!” ‘Cause we’re completely incapable of having a real conversation with these people we’ve known our entire lives. We do this whole song and dance 59 more times… And then they’re dead.

What if I ended the show right there? By the way, poor Tyler. None of this applies to you, dude. He’s sitting there like, “My dad’s gonna die in 20 years!” You’re all good, man. You’re with your dad right now. It’s all good. He’s gonna go home and just hug his mom, “Mom, the man said you’re gonna die in 20 years!” I’m not saying all this stuff to make us sad, okay? I’m saying it to hopefully inspire us to talk to these people, get to know ’em, right? ‘Cause when they pass, we’re the ones that tell their story, okay? You know, we’re their biographers. And I’m sure they’re way more interesting than we give ’em credit for. So, next time we’re home, I challenge us all, sit down with these people, talk to ’em. You know? Sit down with your mom and say, “You know what? Put away the phones and everything. I want to talk to you. I want to learn about your life. Tell me your story.” And she’ll be touched. You look her in the eye and you ask her stuff. You go big. Say, “So, Mom… You ever fuck a black guy? “Why would you ask me something like that?” “I’m just trying to learn about your life, I don’t know. I just want to know things.” “Well, that seems like a very strange place to start! “I don’t know. I’m trying.” All right, it was ’98, and the Bulls were in their prime. Um… Tyler, you can do that part if you want. Tyler, promise me you’ll do that. Will you do it? Will you do it? Will you do it? Will you do it? Yes!

Mmm… Uh… I, uh… I’m in a relationship right now. Yeah, a very wonderful woman. Uh, we’re an interracial couple. You know, most people don’t care about that. But, uh… some people don’t like it! We kind of get it on two fronts nowadays, you know? One front, we get kind of old-school, classic stuff, you know? Like, “Y’all don’t match!” And you also get kind of new school stuff, like, “Aziz, you’re in entertainment, you shouldn’t be dating outside your ethnicity, especially a white person, ’cause that propagates ideas of white beauty being put on a pedestal!” Which is just a fancy way of saying, “Y’all don’t match!” ‘Cause, look, man, I understand. I get the argument, okay? But I’ve dated Indian people. I’ve dated people of many ethnicities. But this is the person I have a deep connection with. That’s very hard to find. And I’m sorry we’re not the same skin tone. But I’m also kind of tired of people telling me what race person I’m allowed to date. This has happened my entire life, you know? Even when I was a little kid. I remember being in first grade, every single kid in the class was white, except for me and this little Asian girl. And even back then, people used to be like, “All right, Aziz! What’s going on with you and Christine Li, man? I see you two. What’s going on over there? Come on, man. You look weird. She looks weird… Let’s do this!” Then 20-odd years later, I get into show business, it’s the same thing, right? “All right, Aziz, you’re an Indian comedy actor… Mindy Kaling’s an Indian comedy actor. What’s going on-yam-yam-yam-yam?”

Uh… You know, uh, my girlfriend, she’s Danish, so she doesn’t even understand some of the racism we deal with sometimes. ‘Cause, you know, they don’t have the same kind of racism in Denmark. Just culturally, it’s different, ’cause they don’t have any other races. Just Danish people, and the closest thing they’ve got to minorities is rye bread. So sometimes, I’ve got to explain stuff to her, you know? And, okay, I’m gonna do her voice for this next bit. This is not her voice, okay? Her… her accent’s a little tricky, ’cause she’s lived in a few different parts of the world, so, I’m just saying that ’cause I don’t want to do this voice and people be like, “Whoa, Aziz is dating some Mary Poppins-sounding motherfucker.” Anyway, she comes up to me one day, she goes, “Darling, I did something a bit naughty. Um, I went on some internet forums and I saw people have been posting paparazzi photos of us. And I’m just wondering, why do these people think that my name is Becky?” And I had to explain to her, “No one thinks your name’s Becky. That’s just internet slang making fun of white girls. Like the Beyoncé song, “Go call Becky with the good hair.” “Oh… so it’s kind of like a slur? Not that bad really, just calling me a different name.” And then she opened up her umbrella and flew into the sky.

One time… we were walking around in New York, right? And we’re just holding hands, minding our business. Dude just points at us, and he goes, “Bet you get a lot of free taxi rides with that one!” Oh! Before I could even say anything, my girlfriend just goes, “Excuse me, sir. I pay for my fair share of the taxis, thank you very much!” And then just started strutting like she’d dominated the interaction. And… I didn’t even get a chance to get angry at this guy ’cause I was so confused. And I was eventually like, “Why did you say that?” She goes, “Well, this gentleman is clearly implying that I’m dating you for your wealth and that I am some kind of gold digger.” “That’s what you think just happened? No. He’s making fun of me ’cause I’m Indian. He’s saying that I drive a taxi.” “Hm, well, you don’t drive a taxi. Ha-ha!” “No, he knows that. He’s just saying that… a lot of times you get in a cab, it’s a brown guy. It’s a stereotype. It’s a job Indian people have a lot.” “Mmm, well, a lot of Indian people are doctors as well. He could’ve said, ‘Oh, bet you get a lot of free check-ups with that one.” Uh… “I guess technically, yes, but… why the fuck would he say that? That’s not… not really what he’s going for here, okay? He’s trying to be demeaning, okay? He’s not trying to make fun of me for potentially being a doctor. Uh… He’s just saying, often you get in a cab, it’s a brown guy and he’s Indian, okay?” “Hm, well, someone send him a memo, ’cause just ’cause someone’s brown doesn’t mean they’re Indian. They could also be Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and many other…” “Yeah, he knows all this! Goddammit, Becky, this is what racism is.”

For birth control stuff, my girlfriend, uh, she has an IUD. Got some fans in the house! “Whoo, I have one in my pussy, as well!” Two people that are sitting pretty close together. There’s a little cluster. But, you know, my girlfriend has one, and she’s very surprised that more people in America don’t have the IUDs, ’cause they’re very popular in Europe. Here, not as much. Here, people are more into the pills. If you think about it, I get her confusion, ’cause the pills really are a crazy product, right? Pills are like you and your partner, Lisa and David, go to the doctor, you’re like, “Uh… Yes, um, we’re worried about pregnancy but we don’t want to use condoms. Is there anything we can do?” The doctor’s like, “Yes. I’ve got the perfect plan. Lisa, I’m gonna give you this pill. This pill, uh… this pill’s gonna fuck you up. It’s gonna put a bunch of hormones in your body, it’s gonna be weird, but I need you to take the pill every day at the same time, okay? Every day, same time. Don’t forget. You forget even once, you’ll get pregnant today, okay? Every day, same time. Don’t fuck this up, Lisa! All right, David, this is what you’re gonna have to do. Nothing. I got you, dog, just go ahead. Drop it in. Have a good time. I don’t even know why you came to the appointment. You’re adorable.”
Now, the way the IUD thing works… The way the IUD thing works is there’s this little copper guy, and the doctor puts it in there very deep in a very painful procedure. And it’s got these strings on the outside so the doctor can take it out if you decide you want to have kids, or I guess after, like, seven years, it has to be replaced. And, uh, one time, we’re doing stuff, and I hit the string… with my penis. And… it hurt very badly. And, oh, man… It’s hard to go back in there with that same level of enthusiasm… after an attack. I’m trying to think of an analogy. It’s like… Uh, let’s say you’re eating a bag of chips, right? And… everything’s fine, right? You’re having the chips… “Meh, eh, eh, eh.” And then one time, you reach for a chip and… something bites your dick, right? And the next time you reach for the chips, you’re not gonna be like, “Eh…” You’re gonna be like, “Oh, hold on, don’t move the bag. I’m coming in. Don’t move the bag!” It’s different. So, this eventually becomes a problem, right? And… my girlfriend’s like, “We gotta do something. I don’t like this. Maybe I should go back on the pills.” “Hey, whatever you want to do is fine with me. It doesn’t really feel like my place to say, you know?” And she’s like, “Yeah, I know, but I don’t really like the pills.” I’m like, “Why not?” She goes, “Ah, you know. You get very cranky, very moody, irritable. But I guess I could do it.” And I was like, “What? These are the two options? Either I risk penal bruising, or you just resign yourself to becoming this shittier person? There’s got to be another way.”
Sure enough… she goes to the doctor, finds out there’s this brand new male IUD… And I got one put in. And now we’re all good. Yeah. So, the way this thing works… There is no male IUD! Look how excited people got! This lady in the front just pulled out her phone, “I’m calling to make an appointment for my boyfriend. What time do you open? Uh, eight o’clock? Yeah, he’ll be there at 7:15. Let’s go ahead and put two of those guys in there in case one of them breaks down, and, uh… Please, tuck those strings in nicely, I don’t want anything poking my pussy. Uh, his name? Uh, it’s Dan Greenblatt. That’s right.”

Oh… Dan, glad you came out tonight. I’m glad you all came out tonight. And… yeah. I really mean that. I really am very grateful you came, you know? ‘Cause, you know, I’ve done a lot of shows in my career. At the end of the shows, I’d always go, “Good night. Thank you very much!” But the truth is, I never really meant it. I was just saying that ’cause it’s what you say at the end of a show, right? I mean, sure, I was grateful. I’m not a dick. But… I wasn’t grateful enough. I didn’t really think about what it means that all you guys came out. But now, when I see you guys here, it hits me in a different way. I think about what it means that all you guys, you drove down here, you waited in line. And you did all of this stuff just to hear me talk into a microphone for, like, an hour or so. And it means the world to me, ’cause… I saw the world… where I don’t ever get to do this again. And… it almost felt like I’d died. In a way… I did. That old Aziz who said, “Oh, treat yo’ self,” whatever, he’s dead. But I’m glad… ’cause that guy… was always looking forward… to whatever was next. “Oh, am I gonna do another tour? Am I gonna do another season of the show?” Blah, blah, blah. I don’t think that way anymore. ‘Cause I’ve realized… it’s all ephemeral. All that stuff… it can just go away… like this… And all we really have… is the moment we’re in… and the people we’re with.

Now, I talked about my grandma earlier, and it was sad. But what I didn’t tell you was the whole time when I was with her, she was smiling, she was laughing, she was there with me. She was present in a way no other people I’ve been around recently have been. I’ve tried to take that with me. And Granny, my grandma, doesn’t have much choice in this matter. But I do. And that’s how I choose to live, in the moment I’m in with the people I’m with. And right now, this is our moment, right? Me, you guys, Dan… Random lady that yelled, “Funny!” Young Tyler who’s scarred for life. It’s all of us. And this is our moment right now. So, you know what? Why don’t we all just take it in for just a second? An on that, I’ll say good night, and thank you very, very much. Thank you.

♪ Sometimes I feel so happy ♪
♪ Sometimes I feel so sad ♪

Thank you very much, Brooklyn. I hope to see you again sometime.

♪ Sometimes I feel so happy ♪
♪ But mostly you just make me mad ♪
♪ Baby, you just make me mad ♪
♪ Linger on ♪
♪ Your pale blue eyes ♪
♪ Linger on ♪
♪ Your pale blue eyes ♪
♪ Thought of you as my mountaintop ♪
♪ Thought of you as my peak ♪
Thought of you as everything
♪ I’ve had but couldn’t keep ♪
♪ I’ve had but couldn’t keep ♪
♪ Linger on ♪
♪ Your pale blue eyes ♪
♪ Linger on ♪
♪ Your pale blue eyes ♪
♪ If I could make the world as pure ♪
♪ And strange as what I see ♪
♪ I’d put you in the mirror ♪
♪ I put in front of me ♪
♪ I put in front of me ♪
♪ Skip a life completely ♪
♪ Stuff it in a cup ♪
♪ She said, “Money is like us in time ♪
♪ It lies but can’t stand up” ♪
♪ Down for you is up ♪
♪ Linger on ♪
♪ Your pale blue eyes ♪
♪ Linger on ♪
♪ Your pale blue eyes ♪
♪ Linger on ♪
♪ Your pale blue eyes ♪
♪ Linger on ♪
♪ Your pale blue eyes ♪

* * *

FURTHER READING

Kathryn VanArendonk, Aziz Ansari Reckons With Himself, Vulture, July 9, 2019